This issue features a cut-away interlude which reveals that Steppenwolf, the military conqueror from Apokalypse that nearly destroyed this world, is actually still living on it! He has been taken in by King Marov of the futuristic nation of Dherain, which sealed its borders off to the rest of the worlds after the war.
But of course treachery prevails as both rulers attempt to overthrow one another. In exchange for asylum, Steppenwold provided Marov with Apokolyptian technology, which Marov then had further modified in hopes of using it to defeat his supposed ally. But the Apokolyptian has his own secret weapon, as depicted on the cover, Fury who is connected to the heroes of this world… but twisted under Steppenwolf’s influence.
Yildiray Cinar’s artwork is competent, but not exciting. It’s good enough, but clearly fill-in art. There’s a lot of energy, especially during the action scenes, but at other times, it appears crude and under-rendered. So it’s just slightly better than average.
The reveal that Steppenwolf is still on Earth and planning another conquest attempt is surprising and sets up the near future of this series. The introduction of Fury is another example of writer James Robinson freely diving into what was the pre-Crisis Earth 2’s history and plucking freely from it and giving it a twist. I’m not sure what to think of Fury yet, but so far, she’s quite different from the old version.
So far, this isn’t my favorite series, but at its best, it’s an interesting case of world building. It exists within its own continuity and doesn’t have to answer to the events in any other books. There’s a certain freedom in that that comes across to the reader. No issue of this book so far, including this one, has blown me away, but it’s starting to feel like it’s all actually leading some place that could pay off satisfactorily.
EARTH 2 #8
Written by James Robinson
Pencils by Yildiray Cinar
Inks by Ryan Winn and Ruy Jose
Cover by Cinar, Art Thibert and Gabe Eltaeb